The idea of creative, aesthetic, and technologically-advanced shared office spaces has witnessed a major push in recent years, mostly driven by the imperative need for hybrid or remote business operations during the restrictions imposed to combat the unprecedented pandemic. The coworking spaces are built with the concept of providing a complete solution to businesses and aiding their general operations by lessening certain burdens like real estate charges, electricity, maintenance, hospitality charges, etc.
While the coworking spaces were primarily conceptualized to cater to the professional needs of small businesses, solopreneurs, freelancers, etc., there has been a major rise in corporates leasing co-working spaces. Now, with the enhanced popularity of shared working spaces, the future of coworking spaces is expected to grow exponentially in 2023.
Market studies indicate that the co-working space stock is expected to be over 60 million square feet in metro and non-metro cities by 2023. Furthermore, the country’s flexible office space market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 6 per cent from 2022 to 2027. As the coworking spaces host a diverse range of businesses and professionals from every walk of life, the players in the coworking sector have been working on more and more innovative strategies to make the coworking spaces inclusive and welcoming for all.
To welcome a diverse workspace, the co-working spaces are focusing on adopting certain employee-friendly measures like digital access cards, individual access control systems for each and every cabin or office block, online booking, online registration of visitors, automatic doors, elevators, installation of CCTV cameras, etc. The creative workplaces comprise not just eco-friendly infrastructure but also advanced technological benefits to entice more businesses to come in by providing them with ease of working.
The core reason why coworking spaces across the country have gained massive popularity and have become the most preferred choice for businesses is that apart from being equipped with technology, state-of-art facilities are aesthetically lucrative. They promote and boost collaboration, creativity, idea sharing, mentoring, networking, socializing, and generating new business opportunities.
To further provide 360-degree services to its clients, the sector has closely intersected with hospitality and tourism, and coworking spaces have also become preferred office spaces as workstations, which digital natives can access while on vacation.
The basic strategy for creating a more inclusive coworking space is to make the common areas more spacious and attractive to promote a more social atmosphere; which is really important for a shared working culture. With creative and environment-friendly common areas, professionals from different companies and backgrounds will get the opportunity to come together and collaboratively grow through networking and idea-sharing. Also, an inclusive coworking space can be created by building a productive space with advanced features like adjustable desks, ambient lighting, rooftop gardens, etc.
Furthermore, to make the coworking spaces more inclusive, the players in the sector are focusing on accommodating the working mothers who are trying to work in tandem with their male counterparts. Most coworking spaces these days are creating separate spaces for crèches to take care of the infants during work hours.
(The author is Mr.Aditya Mehta CEO & CO-Founder Akasa Co-working, and the views expressed in this article are his own)